How do I set up auto-screening questions?

Available for User roles Team Member, Admin, Super Admin 
Products Professional and Enterprise

With Lever's auto-screening questions, you can automatically archive, email, and tag candidates based on how they respond to custom questions. Save time by eliminating unqualified candidates while also categorizing high-interest candidates.

Configuring a rule

Auto-screening rules are configured via the custom question form editor. To edit or create a custom question, go to the postings page and click on a posting. Next, click on the "Add custom questions" dropdown. Open the custom question form editor by clicking on "Create application questions" to create a new custom question form. You can also edit an existing question by clicking on its name and then clicking on the question itself. Learn more about custom questions here.

Tip: If you modify an existing custom question form, those changes will apply to every posting that is using the same form. This can be very helpful if you are asking the same questions and applying the same rules across multiple postings!


Add a rule to a question by clicking on "Add rule". A rule is composed of two parts - a condition and an action. First, decide on the condition. When a candidate answers this question in a way that satisfies the condition, the actions will execute. There are two kinds of actions - tagging and archiving. You may choose to execute one or both actions when the condition is satisfied. When tagging, you may apply one or more tags. When archiving, you also have the option to send a rejection email. You can select from the dropdown of pre-existing team email templates as well as choosing to delay the email for a specified amount of time. 

Please note: Auto-screening rules are only available for questions that are multiple choice, checkbox, dropdown, or file upload. Each question may only have one condition.

Tip: You may add additional questions to the form by clicking on "Add another question". A custom question form may have multiple questions, but each question may only have one rule.


How Lever evaluates rules

When a candidate submits an application, the condition for each of the rules will be evaluated. The rules are evaluated in the same order that they appear on the application. Depending on the type of action, the rules are evaluated slightly differently.

Add tag

When using the "add tag" action, the specified tag(s) will be applied to the opportunity if the condition is satisfied. You may have several questions that apply tags. It's ok if several questions apply the same tag, but each tag can only appear once on an opportunity.


The "auto-archive action" behaves a little differently. Auto-screening checks to see if the candidate is already archived before performing an archive or email action. If the candidate is already archived, auto-screening will not re-archive or re-email a candidate. Because the rules are evaluated in order, this ensures that only one archive and email action will execute per application. You may set up multiple questions that trigger an archive and email action, but the candidate will receive at most one automated rejection email per application.

Auto-screening example

To better understand how auto-screening works, consider the following example. Suppose there is a custom question form called "Background Info" with three questions. The first is a question about the candidate's age. If the candidate is not over 18, we set up an auto-screening rule to automatically archive the candidate as "Underqualified" and email the candidate with the "[Rejection] Underage" email template. The email template includes details on why the candidate is being rejected.


The second question is about motivation. If the candidate is not excited about the job they are applying to, the candidate should be automatically archived as "Unmotivated" and sent the "[Rejection] Unmotivated" email template. Before archiving or emailing a candidate via auto-screening, Lever checks to see if the candidate is already archived. If a candidate indicates they are under 18 and not excited about the job, the candidate will be archived as "Underqualified" and sent the "[Rejection] Underage" email template. This is because the first rule is evaluated and executed before the second rule is evaluated. 


The third question is about employment eligibility. If a candidate is eligible to work in other countries, we want to tag them with "Eligible to work abroad". This rule will execute and the candidate will get tagged regardless of whether or not they were archived due to their response to one of the first two questions.


Viewing candidate responses

When a candidate applies and an auto-screening rule is triggered, a profile story is generated. This profile story displays what automated actions were executed as well as the question and answer that triggered the rule.

Please note: Users must have Sensitive Information Privileges (SIP) to view the profile story if the responses are marked as secret.

In the previous example, suppose our applicant said they are not under the age of 18, not motivated at all, and legally authorized to work in the United States, Canada, and Ireland. A profile story will be generated for each action that was triggered. No profile story is generated for our first question. Our second question's condition was triggered so there is a profile story explaining that the candidate was archived and emailed. The third question's condition was also triggered so there is a separate profile story explaining why the "Eligible to work abroad" tag was added. In addition to the profile story, the custom question form with the candidate's responses is displayed on the profile, along with profile stories for email and archive actions. This is what the profile story looks like for the actions related to employment eligibility:


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